Minimalist Wabi-sabi

A Spatial Design Language

Minimalist / Wabi-Sabi

Subtle and economical, careful yet serendipitous, consistent but not boring - these are just some of the qualities that we aspire to achieve through Minimalist/Wabi-Sabi, or M/W-S for short. As the design language of Space is Ltd, M/W-S draws inspiration from the minimalist movement and the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophy. Balanced between the polished and the unfinished, presence and absence, M/W-S defines the spatial experience of SLEEEP.


minimalism, wabi-sabi, and technology.

The architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe had a famous saying: "less is more." Today's culture preaches "more and more." This consumerist mentality has created serious problems for society, from resource depletion to environmental degradation. At SLEEEP, we not only hope to provide a great place for "the most minimalist" activity of the day (hint: sleeping), we also want to do so in a responsible way.

Our fundamental belief, guided by research-proven findings, is that between experience and goods of equal monetary worth, experience creates more lasting happiness than material goods. Moreover, what we have also come to realize is that quality experience does not necessarily have to come as a higher cost.

In Japanese culture, the Wabi-sabi aesthetic teaches people to appreciate the raw, honest nature of materials rather than discounting them for their imperfections. All it takes is to see the good of everyday objects is a change in viewpoint.

This paradigm shift has profound implications for how we act. The constant upgrades and replacements to our consumerist products are the exact opposite of a sustainable culture requires of us. In celebrating the honest, natural manifestation of things, we aspire to promote a more sustainable way of living.

Technology shapes each and every epoch. Ours is defined by constant and instant communication. The benefits we enjoy, however, are increasingly offset by the damage it does to our sleep quality. At SLEEEP, we pay close attention to these delicate balances. Our optimism drives us to use technology for a better sleep.

0.1 Triple Bottom-Line

In practical terms, by espousing M/W-S, we approach renovation/revitalization with a new sensibility that breathes new life into existing spaces while cutting down renovation works and costs, directly lowering environmental impact.

The key, in material terms, is to cut down on unnecessary programs altogether (reduce), appreciate what is already in place (reuse), and add only where absolutely necessary. As much as possible, what we add should also be designed with a recyclable future in mind.

In energy terms, using well-established practices of natural ventilation, day-lighting and proper insulation helps reduce energy load and create optimal thermal conditions with minimal cooling/heating. Where possible, excess energy such as heat or electricity is also captured for reuse.

Straightforward and easy to implement, these generally applicable principles guide the execution of each Space is Ltd. project, if not our lives.

0.2 Total UX Design

Fundamental to the vision of Space is Ltd. is that we can share not only space but also time. It is why when we conceive of a space, we consider it in terms of a multidimensional experience as well, starting way before one enters each space and extending to long after one leaves it. We also think of all the senses available to us: sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound.  

We want each space we create to feel unique and familiar at the same time. We want each user who experiences a Space is Ltd project to leave feeling physically and emotionally recharged, refreshed, even inspired – ready to take on what life has to offer.

Seamless Experience

When a user leaves a SLEEEP location, they should have a memorable image in their mind. E.g. a dark but comforting space with the wood finish in SLPers glowing softly in the background. 

In creating such an image, however, attention needs to be paid to to the overall lighting. A delicate line separates dim lighting versus insufficient illumination. Practically speaking, interior space should be generally dark, but not so dark to appear intimidating or confusing, i.e. user should know instinctively that dimness is a design intent, not an accident. Above all, they must feel secure.

Spatial Sequence

Pinterest | Look & Feel

Before entering, the entrance to a SLEEEP location should slow down a person, whether they are a passer-by or an arriving guest. This consists of public bench so anyone walking by can take a break; a deep entrance that involves a deliberate action, such as opening a heavy door, or taking off one’s shoes; and an intelligent check-in method to simplify unnecessary steps.

Once inside, the environment should be conducive to a quiet, meditative mood to prepare a guest for sleep. This consists of a water fountain, an aromatic diffuser, soothing sounds, and dim ambient lighting to calm one’s senses; black/white walls and raw finishes; a motion-activated lighting system to reduce light pollution.

Before leaving, the washing space should awaken one’s body and mind. This consists of environmentally friendly washing products bought from the local community; a distinctive basin; and a quality bathroom electronic appliance, such as a Dyson blow dryer.

0.3 Project timeline

Though each project will have its own timeline, the following gives an idea of how SLEEEP approaches the entire process, from conception to completion.


Before officially committing to a project, the SLEEEP team conducts a feasibility study and space planning process to ensure the viability of the project. If a project has a good chance of success, a building code analysis and permitting process should take place as soon as possible to reduce potential complications down the stream.


The design phase is a truly collaborative process between the SLEEEP team and the Design Partner (if any). One of the key considerations in this work method is to create a safe and consistent experience across diverse locations without repeating the same idea. This is why a Design Partner is crucial because they bring new ideas to the space.


Given SLEEEP's high level of physical and digital integration, it is vital that due consideration ti given to the construction sequence in order to avoid delays. Proper lead-up time for the production of SLEEEP products should be ensured for timely delivery. Once electrical and communication systems are in place, the EXP Access Control system should be installed as well.


This phase is crucial to ensuring the system integration of SLEEEP. All R.E.M. devices need to be registered. The E.X.P. system connection should be tested, and X.O.s should receive the X.O.P training in time for the next step of the process.


With nearly everything ready to go, now is the time for operations to kick in to make sure the word gets out.


0.4 Inspirations

Bruder Klaus Field Chapel

Japanese Kintsugi


1. Space